9. And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone.
9. Et aspexi, et ecce quatuor rotae e regione cherubim, rota una e regione cherub unius, altera rota e regione alterius cherub: et aspectus rotarum tanquam similitudo lapidis Tharsis.
Here the Prophet, as in the first chapter, says that wheels were added to each living creature. I have previously explained what the wheels mean. I will now only allude to them; concerning the living creatures I shall by and bye treat more fully. But the wheels are images of all the changes which are discerned in the world. No more suitable figure can be chosen; for nothing is stationary in the world, but revolutions, as we commonly call them, are continually happening. Since, therefore, they are so changeable, nay even tumultuous at times, profane men cannot understand how the world is governed by the fixed counsel of God; but they fabricate for themselves a blind fortune: hence God in concession to our weakness has represented to us, under the form of wheels, all changes of things, all accidents, as they are called, and all events; as if he were to say, that all things in the world are revolving and changing, not only that all elements are agitated upwards and downwards, but human events especially. Meanwhile he has corrected the error, while he has conceded something to the rudeness of men. For we see manifold conversions which appear to us under the form of a wheel: but meanwhile we indulge in too much license, when we imagine a blind fortune. Hence the Prophet saw wheels near the cherubim; that is, he saw those changes by which men's minds are disturbed, as if all things happened rashly in the world. But he saw that the wheels did not revolve by their own force, but are annexed to the angels, since all events depend on a first cause, namely, on that secret ordinance and inspiration of God, by which the angels are moved, and whence also they have their vigor. In this explanation nothing is forced, because it is not doubtful that the living creatures, as we shall soon see, signify angela Let us go on then to the context --